A great way to remember Greg on Monday June 6, which would have been his 53rd birthday, is to make that day a Meat-Free Monday – and ideally a fully vegan Monday.
Greg and I went meat-free in the year 2000, inspired by an educational tour of the northern California farm animal sanctuary Animal Place. We then became full ethical vegans in 2009, discontinuing consumption of egg, dairy and honey as well as meat and fish. There’s more information about this on the Veganism page of the Greg Fund website.
We had lots of fun with our meals – whether at home or out at a restaurant. Here are just a couple examples of our home meals:
Breakfast – Vegan Waffles
In our last years together, I did most of the cooking in our house – but on Sunday mornings, Greg always made waffles. He didn’t have a precise written recipe, but on Memorial Day weekend 2016, I recreated Greg’s waffles-for-two from memory – and I dare say they were quite tasty:
Batter – Stir to combine and cook according to waffle maker instructions.
- 1 cup Arrowhead Mills buckwheat pancake & waffle mix
- 1/2 banana (instead of egg)
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 cup vanilla soymilk
- Sliced strawberries
- Sliced blueberries
- Sliced banana
- Agave syrup
Lunch or dinner – Sauteed vegetables and tofu over rice
Greg was raised by his mom, an immigrant from Taiwan – and throughout his life, his favorite dishes were Taiwanese, Chinese, or other Asian over rice. He also loved spicy food. Again, we didn’t have precise written recipes, but here’s one example of the kind of dish we would frequently make at home:
Asian Stir-fry with Kale and Bell Pepper for 2
- 2 teaspoons sesame or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper; or 4 mini-peppers, chopped medium
- 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced in half moons
- 2 cups of kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed (in spring and early summer, I pick this from our home garden)
- 1/2 cup vegetable bouillon
- 6 oz. baked or braised tofu cubes or strips
- Sriracha sauce or other hot sauce (optional)
- Prepare 1/2 cup vegetable bouillon and set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, bring sesame or canola oil to a medium high heat. Add garlic, bell pepper, and leek to skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add kale to the skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes more, until the kale has wilted.
- Pour vegetable bouillon into the uncovered skillet, stirring and allowing most of the moisture to steam off.
- Add baked or braised tofu to the skillet and sauté for one minute.
- Serve over brown rice.
- Optionally top with Sriracha or other hot sauce.
Wine and Beer
Greg was known throughout his adult life for his love of wine – and his knack for picking great wines that weren’t too expensive.
In his later years, he also developed a taste for beer. He would typically drink one bottle of beer with dinner, and give me the first sip – because, he said, the first sip is the best.
It is not well known that many wines, beers, and other alcoholic beverages are processed with animal products – we only learned this ourselves in 2009. The website barnivore.com is a great resource for finding vegan wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages.
The Meat-Free Monday website sponsored by Sir Paul McCartney, who has been vegetarian since 1975, is one excellent resource. Others include the PETA Vegan Starter Kit, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Vegetarian Starter Kit, and the Happy Cow guide to vegetarian and vegan restaurants around the world.
Friends can also share suggestions on the Greg Fund Facebook page June 6 Meat-Free Monday event.
~ Alysoun Mahoney